Mendenhall Explains bin Laden Tweets in Blog Post (update)

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall has created a stir within the twitterverse and the NFL community with bizarre, off-the-wall comments on his official Twitter page regarding Sunday’s death of Osama Bin Laden.

UPDATE: today he posted an apology)

The former Illinois Fighting Illini and Skokie, IL (a northern suburb of Chicago) native tweeted Monday:

“What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can
HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one
side…”

One side?

Interesting take there, Shard. Defending a man who we’ve all heard
speak; and he speaks of promoting genocide and atrocity.  His speech
includes a fatwa to kill all Americans, military or civilian. So we’ve
heard what we has to say, an advocacy of all Muslims to kill me, you,
and all Americans. Innocent Americans.

So uhm, yeah, that’s why we hated OBL, because he urged his followers to kill all of us.

His reasons? American military presence in Arab countries, U.S.
military bases in Saudi Arabia and American financial and military aid
to Israel. Even though America once gave him and his Mujahideen
followers money, weapons and combat training to help fight the Soviet
Union when they invaded Afghanistan.

So not only was Bin Laden an asshole; we was an ungrateful asshole.
No everyday American has any connection or responsibility to any of the
U.S. foreign policies that Bin Laden despised, so for him to want us all
dead over something we have no control over is pretty sick and twisted.
And that fact makes us very worthy to dance on his grave. Get a clue
Mendenhall!

Shard followed that up with a tweet which makes him sound like one of
those fringe, looney-tune “9/11 was an inside job” conspiracy
theorists.

“We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time
believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.”

WOW! That is just awful and offensive on so many levels. I’ll defend
to the death Mendenhall’s right to say this, and whatever else he wants
to say, but in keeping with the ideals of the First Amendment, we also
need to point out ridiculously inaccurate and awful his stated beliefs
are. He has over 20,000 followers and we need to give them all the
facts; something he is not doing.

The Steelers obviously felt compelled to act. The NFL is a huge
billion dollar brand, and they have a lot invested in brand management,
and maintaining that certain image when their star tailback goes
batshit. On Tuesday, team president Art Rooney II released this
statement.

“I have not spoken with Rashard, so it is hard to explain or even
comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments. The entire
Steelers organization is very proud of the job our military personnel
have done and we can only hope this leads to our troops coming home
soon.”

Among Mendenhall’s other bin Laden tweets:

“I believe in God. I believe we’re ALL his children. And I believe HE is the ONE and ONLY judge.”

“Those who judge others, will also be judged themselves.”

“For those of you who said you want to see Bin Laden burn … I ask how would God feel about your heart?”

“There is not an ignorant bone in my body. I just encourage you to think.”

Mendenhall’s string of tweets ended around 5 p.m. Monday. He has not tweeted since.

The Steelers are one of the NFL’s most successful teams on the field,
and one of the most popular brands across America. The firestorm
against Mendenhall’s asinine statements has only just begun. And in a
right-wing, God-fearing, flag-waving bastion like the NFL, it’s only
going to get worse; and quickly. He’ll need to issue a public apology
and retraction soon, otherwise the backlash will only grow
exponentially.

It doesn’t help that the NFL is shutdown on a lockout; there is very
little for the NFL fan to talk about these days. Rashard’s controversial
statement just gave them water cooler fodder.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and Facebook

Comments

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  • Sorry, but I think Mendenhall has a point here. I'm happy they finally got him, but I'm not happy he's dead. I'm happy that chapter is over, I'm happy that we all got closure and can move on, but the death of a human, no matter how evil or vile they were, is not something to celebrate. Remember on 9/11 how you felt when you saw pictures of people celebrating in the streets? Remember how it filled you with RAGE! I do. Now think how it must have looked the other night with people celebrating in the streets. You think that demoralized our enemies? It had the opposite effect. I'm sure somewhere in Afghanistan there's a young boy who saw those pictures and has now made it his life's work to kill as many American's as possible. Hate begets hate. By celebrating, we were perpetuating the cycle. I've been posting this response all day:

    "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence and toughness multiples toughness in a descending spiral of destruction." Martin Luther King.

  • well, sure he makes a point or two...but that's not the way he comes off. For a more cogent and coherent stating of Shard was trying to say, read CDR's Twitter timeline. Or read the post below this.

    I noticed Mendenhall deleted the 9/11 post today when he posted his apology, which I'll update this post with now

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